The only positive solution after the British parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s agreement on withdrawal from the European Union is for Britain to stay in the EU, the chairman of EU leaders Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.
Lawmakers defeated May’s Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin, 432 to 202, triggering political upheaval that could lead to a disorderly exit from the EU or even to a reversal of the 2016 referendum decision to leave.
“If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” Tusk tweeted after the vote.
A spokesman for Tusk said leaders of the 27 countries that will remain in the EU after Britain leaves on March 29 said they regretted the decision of the British parliament to reject the deal, which “remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”.
The leaders urged London “to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps as soon as possible” and said they would remain united and seek to reduce the damage caused by Brexit.
They would also continue the EU’s process of ratification of the deal, despite the British parliament’s rejection.
“We will continue our preparations for all outcomes, including a no-deal scenario. The risk of a disorderly exit has increased with this vote and, while we do not want this to happen, we will be prepared for it,” the spokesman said in remarks that were coordinated with the 27 capitals.